Book Recommendations: Music Lovers Edition

If you are on Bookstagram or Booktok, I’m sure you’ve seen the novel, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid recommended time and time again. It’s an amazing, quick read and I definitely recommend it, but there are even more novels out there in the same style. So if you loved Daisy Jones & The Six or are a music lover in the general you definitely need to check out these books.

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton


The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton is a novel about the rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s. As a tie in with their reunion tour, both Opal and Nev have agreed to a tell-all book. As these artists tell their side of the story, nasty allegations are revealed that could threaten the whole reunion.

Told in the same oral history/interview style as Daisy Jones & The Six, Walton manages to weave real life events with her fictional events making for an incredibly believable story. Because it is told in an oral history style I found it to be a super quick read. It reflects the 70s and today incredibly well, showing everything from the good, the bad, and the ugly. Walton never shies away from tough topics and handles them with care. There is revelation about halfway through the book that shocked me, and left my mouth gaping open.

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan

The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes tells the story of Cassidy Holmes aka “Sassy Gloss” of the fictional pop group Gloss. They were the hottest pop group in the early 2000’s, until they fell apart. Now Cassidy Holmes is dead, suicide. The media and her former bandmates are reeling from this news.

The story jumps back and forth in time. All the past chapters are from Cassidy’s point of view, while the present chapters are told from the other band members. This book tackles tough topics, mental health, eating disorders, and sexual assault. Essentially, anything that a young female pop singer might have gone through in the early 2000s. It isn’t an easy read by any means because of the topics discussed, but they are handled with care. As someone who grew up listening to early 2000s pop, this was such an interesting read.

#FreeBritney

Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau

“Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for–who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.”

I just finished this and it is the perfect summer read. The author manages to perfectly capture the voice of a 14 year-old and Mary Jane is incredibly relatable. This book is about a young girl finding her voice and branching out for the first time in her life. It definitely gives off Almost Famous and Daisy Jones & The Six vibes. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.

These are just some of my recommendations, and let me know if you decide to check them out! Also let me know if you have any recommendations to add to this list.

REVIEW: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.”

REVIEW:

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev was my March pick for Book of the Month. I have to say I was sucked in from the synopsis alone. Obviously, there is the instant comparison of Daisy Jones & the Six. This book tells such a different story and that is where the similarities end. I loved this book even more than Daisy Jones & the Six.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is filled with fully realized characters, they are all very human with faults. Dawnie Walton manages to weave real life events with her fictional events making for an incredibly believable story. Because it is told in an oral history style it makes it a super easy read, though the topics discussed are not for the faint of heart. I couldn’t put this book down! This story feels authentic and real to the point that sometimes you forget that this is a fictional band.

Opal & Nev reflects both the 70’s and today very well. It shows both the good and the bad, and how much things really haven’t changed. Walton never shies away from tough topics in the book, she fully embraces them and handles them with care. There is a revelation about halfway through the book that absolutely shocked me, and left my mouth gaping open.

If I do have a critique about this book is that sometimes the “editor’s” notes from Sunny’s POV would throw me off. I think they affected the pacing a bit. I would get really sucked into the interview style, and reading about things that happened through each character’s eyes. Then we would have an editor’s notes section and while they were important to the overall story, at times they took me right out.

Overall, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev was so well done, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you loved Daisy Jones & the Six, or are just a lover of music history then this book is for you.

RATING: 4/5

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WWW Wednesday – march 31, 2021

Happy Wednesday my fellow readers! Somehow it is the last Wednesday in March, I don’t even know where this month went. This is a special Wednesday because I’m actually getting my first shot of my Covid-19 vaccine! I’m so happy and excited that I could cry, just one step closer to getting my life back.

As always, I’m answering the three questions below. Let me know your answers in the comments or share to your own blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am taking a small break from my re-read of ACOTAR after finishing A Court of Mist and Fury. So I picked up my BOTM choice for March, The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton. It is told in an oral history style a la Daisy Jones and The Six. I’m really loving it so far and very different than anything I’ve been reading recently.

What did you recently finish?

I just finished re-reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. This book is just so wonderful, I get to watch Rhys and Feyre fall in love with each other and Feyre really discover her self-worth. This is just such a comfort read for me. I also just finished To Love & To Loathe which I posted a full review of on my blog on Monday!

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is always the hardest question to answer. I’ll definitely be picking up A Court of Wings and Ruin to continue my re-read, but I’m not sure what else I might start. It might be Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco, since that hold just became available at my library. Honestly, I’m notoriously bad at this question almost every week.